The Latest with Dr. Dave

By Alycia McClure on December 10, 2015

As many of you may know, our on site vet, Dr. Dave Sjeklocha, contributes to BEEF magazine several times a year. His most recent article " How people become critical of the very food that makes them secure," is nothing to just glance over and click away. Dr. Dave has a great incitte into this issue. Here is the link to the orginal article: www.beefmagazine.com/blog/how-people-become-critical-very-food-makes-the....

Read more by Dr. Dave here...

A good friend and colleague, who is a 20-plus-year military veteran, once told me, “I’ve been all over the world, and one thing I can tell you is that food security is the key. If a country can’t feed its people, the country doesn’t work. Lack of food security leads to crime and social breakdown.”

We are so fortunate to live where we do. Most of us are so food-secure that the biggest problem we have with food is obesity. We pay for gym memberships and workout DVDs because of this high level of food security. Unfortunately, even here in the U.S. we have food insecurity, and we see crime and social breakdown in areas where food is not secure.

The problem with food security is that once it reaches a certain level, people become critical of the very food that has made them secure. This is a luxury that is both wonderful and contemptible. A speaker at an animal welfare seminar a few years ago was a veterinarian from Chile. He was asked how much attention was directed toward animal welfare in Chile. His response was, “Our people are far more concerned with where their next meal is coming from.”

Since Idaho’s Agricultural Security Act was ruled unconstitutional in August, many are wondering if other laws of this nature will continue to stand. No matter your opinion on this issue, it is disheartening that farms feel the need to secure this kind of protection.

But, even though our critics would have us believe that they would like to end all so-called factory farms, their actions make it more difficult for the smaller farmers to survive.Technology, after all, can benefit everyone, regardless of operation size. Take away this efficiency, and all operations must expand so they can spread the increased cost over more animals or acres.

The availability, variety and cost of food we enjoy in this country is a stunning success story of which we can be very proud. The ingenuity we use to produce it is one of the many things that makes our country great, and the fact that we have such a high level of food security makes our country strong. Thank you, my friend, for pointing out how lucky we are. 

Dave Sjeklocha, DVM, is operations manager of animal health and welfare for Cattle Empire LLC, Satanta, Kan. He can be reached at drdave [at] cattle-empire [dot] net.

Comments

Dave, You are a clear and strong advocate for animal agriculture. Thank you for this excellent article.

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